Vioxx cases filed in Brooke County

By John O'Brien | Oct 6, 2006

WELLSBURG - Two Brooke County men have joined in the litigation against Merck and Co., the manufacturer of Vioxx.

Charles Bolner and Kirk Scott each filed lawsuits Sept. 29 in Brooke Circuit Court against Merck, claiming they were harmed by ingesting Vioxx.

Merck issued a recall of Vioxx, which has been linked to several health problems in its users, such as heart attacks.

"The drug contained toxins and when taken by human beings had a deleterious effect on the health of human beings, including damaging their heart," the complaint says.

"Defendant Merck set about to and did advertise, market and directly and indirectly caused to be ingested by Charles E. Bolner the drug which said use was dangerous, untested and unapproved."

Merck has been fighting claims from all over the country in a Multi-District Litigation lawsuit in federal court in Louisiana.

Last year, a widow was awarded $253 million in damages from Merck in Texas, though the state's cap of $26.1 million cut the amount.

In August, the jury in Louisiana awarded $51 million to a former FBI agent who survived a heart attack.

Merck has reportedly stated it will seek an appeal, claiming the man was already at risk for a heart attack.

Bolner and Scott seek compensatory and punitive damages.

"Defendant Merck withheld information which it had in its possession concerning research, testing, lack of research and testing, studies of humans who had taken the drug and who had been given the drug, which demonstrated that the drug causes damage to human's heart and kidneys, as well as other information which medically, legally, scientifically and ethically Plaintiff had a right to know before ingesting and which Defendant had a duty under the law of West Virginia to disclose," the complaint says.

Bolner says he has suffered medical bills, physical injury, emotional distress, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of income, disability, disfigurement and annoyance.

Mark Colantino of Weirton firm Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio and Simon is representing the plaintiffs.

Brooke Circuit Court case number 06-C-167

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